A plan to turn Durban’s former international airport site near Amanzimtoti into a dug-out port and commercial development has stirred up the local property market.
Amanzimtoti has lush gardens, beaches, the warm Indian Ocean, affordable properties and new business opportunities.
Deidre Ronnenbergh of the local Aida franchise says Transnet's R100 billion plans have increased the demand for property as contractors descend on the town.
Upcountry buyers are also relocating their businesses to Amanzimtoti in a quest for a more relaxed, seaside lifestyle.
“This has galvanised the rental market and even though sellers who don't find buyers in a month or two are switching to renting out their properties, shortages are becoming evident."
Another problem for new arrivals, says Ronnenbergh, is that many landlords only offer short rental contracts because they reserve their units in the holiday high season to cash in on higher seasonal rentals.
She says a one bedroom flat that commands a rental of R3 300 a month in the off-season can be let for up to R450 a day in the high season and most landlords get full bookings during holidays.
This three bedroom, two bathroom house has two reception rooms. It has a lounge, spacious living spaces and a private patio. It is on the market for R795 000 - click here to view.
The pressure on rental stock has seen monthly rentals rise in the past few months to start at R2 500 a month for bachelor apartments, R3 300 a month for one bedroom units and R4 500 to R5 000 for two bedroom units.
The high demand for rental units is also spurring new investment by landlords, Ronnebergh says. “They are sourcing older properties in need of renovation and spending some capital to modernise them before releasing them on to the rental market and their capital expenditure is being offset by excellent returns."
Units bought for between R850 000 and R1 million get average rentals of between R8 000 and R9 000 a month.
Prices of properties for sale start at R450 000 for one bedroom flats where two bedroom homes are priced from R650 000. Average three bedrooms, two bathroom family homes sell at around the R1 million mark and luxury properties are selling at prices of R5 million.